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119km (74 miles) SW of Paris; 72km (45 miles) SE of Chartres

Ever since Joan of Arc relieved the besieged city from the Burgundians and the English in 1429, the city has honored the “Maid of Orléans.” This deliverance is celebrated every year on May 8, the anniversary of her victory. But even if you aren’t in town for the celebration, it’s impossible to overlook the city’s affection for the warrior; her name adorns everything from streets and cafes to chocolates and candies. Though it suffered damage in World War II, the city’s downtown still remains quaint, though it has gradually been losing its regional prominence to the more prosperous Tours.